The Commission recommends several changes to the draft reform of the Criminal Code

By introducing a dozen amendments to the extensive proposal to amend the Criminal Code, tightening up, among other things, the Special Commission of the Sejm wants to punish for the most serious crimes. MEPs recommend, among other things, not increasing the penalty for manslaughter.

It is a reform prepared by the Ministry of Justice that provides for tougher penalties for the most serious crimes, introducing so-called life sentences, confiscation of the cars of drunk drivers, new types of crime and higher penalties for taking bribes .

In recent months, a parliamentary subcommittee has been working on this project, which includes nearly 200 amendments. On Thursday morning, the Sejm’s special committee on changes to codifications reviewed the regulations. The Commission recommended that the draft be approved with several amendments. The design now continues in the Sejm.

The amendments proposed by the committee were largely proposed by the PiS club. One of the amendments recommended by the committee was a proposal by Bartłomiej Dorywalski (PiS), which assumes that the penalty for manslaughter will not be tightened and that the current rate will be left from 3 months to 5 years in prison. In the original terms of the draft, the Department of Justice proposed increasing the sentence for this crime to the level of 6 months to 8 years in prison.

According to Dorywalski, the tightening of these sentences proposed by the Justice Department is causing great social controversy. It concerns the doubts of many experts and politicians that the amendment of this regulation would target doctors. He was against this amendment, among other things, Deputy Justice Minister Marcin Warchoł. Ultimately, the amendment was positively recommended.

The reform process foresees, among other things, raising the upper limit of the prison sentence from 15 to 30 years with the simultaneous payment of a separate sentence of 25 years in prison. The statute of limitations for the felony murder has also been extended from 30 to 40 years. The proposal also introduces a new kind of crime: accepting a manslaughter warrant. Preparation for murder should also be punishable by law.

The amendments also provide for the introduction of the so-called fine. absolute life imprisonment, ie life imprisonment with no possibility of parole. The decision on this depends on the judgment of the judge, who can impose this punishment in two situations: if the offender has already been convicted of the most serious, specific crimes or if his release endangers the safety of people.

The draft also proposes tougher penalties for sexual offences. Rape with special cruelty will be punished by 5 to 30 years in prison or life imprisonment; today it is up to 15 years in prison. The same penalty will be imposed on the rape of a child, which currently carries a prison sentence of 3 to 15 years. The offenses of pedophilia are also not subject to statute of limitations.

Sanctions include robbery, kidnapping for ransom, human trafficking, leading an organized criminal group, or incarceration with special harassment. The project also introduces new types of crime. Can be punished: ordering murder, preparing for the murder, avoiding repair of the damage caused by a crime, extortion of property through blackmail.

The proposed changes also assume the seizure of a vehicle driven by a drunk driver. The confiscation of the car is applied in cases where the driver has drunk at least 1.5 per mille alcohol, if he causes an accident with at least 0.5 per mille alcohol in the blood or regardless of the degree of intoxication in the event of a recidivism . If the offender drives a vehicle that does not belong to him, the court will award the deductible.

The draft reform reproduces many solutions from the extensive changes to the criminal law of June 2019, the adoption of which was questioned by the Constitutional Court in 2020. The Constitutional Court then pointed out that the elaborate draft of the amendment had been processed incorrectly and without the required deadlines – the Sejm then passed the amendment within two days.

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